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Assemblymember Wood Moves to Give Local Lawmakers More Time

In an effort to give local lawmakers more time to develop medical cannabis regulations Assemblyman Jim Wood has adopted, and amended AB 21.

Assemblyman Wood said, “It was never our intention to place such a short timeline on local lawmakers.  The current deadline gives jurisdictions just 65 more days to consult stakeholders, learn about the industry, and write good policy; that is not nearly enough time.”

Assemblyman Wood Leads Second Broadband Hearing

TODAY, Assemblyman Jim Wood chaired the second committee hearing of the “Select Committee on Digital Divide in Rural California”.

“I am really pleased with the progress we made today”, said Assemblyman Wood. “My goal is to bring telecommunication stakeholders to the table and to walk away with a clear path forward.”

Today’s committee meeting called Public Utilities Commissioner Catherine Sandoval, USDA Rural Development State Broadband Coordinator Robert Tse, and other stakeholders to Sacramento to weigh solutions for delivering broadband to rural communities.  Participants discussed the regulatory challenges new telecommunications projects face in California as well as the funding opportunities available for future projects.

Wood said, “It is our responsibility to ensure that our rural communities have a fighting chance in today’s 21st century economy.”

Elected in 2014, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D- Healdsburg) represents the 2nd Assembly District, which includes all of Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino counties, plus northern and coastal Sonoma County, including the northern half of Santa Rosa.

Assemblyman Wood Leads Broadband Fact-finding

Today Assemblyman Jim Wood chaired the first meeting of the “Select Committee on the Digital Divide in Rural California”.  The committee, called for and organized by Wood earlier this year, aims to shine a spotlight on the lack of digital infrastructure in rural California.

Assemblyman Wood said, “In light of the recent fiber break leaving thousands of North Coast residents without communication services this committee is particularly timely.  We need people to understand that our concerns are not about downloading movies and streaming TV shows. This is about kids having access to education, doctors having access to patient information, businesses having the resources they need to operate in a 21st century economy, and residents having access to emergency services in times of need.”

Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act Signed

Sacramento – Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 243, authored by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), along with AB 266 and SB 643. The three bills, or the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, will give California some of the most comprehensive Medical Marijuana regulations in the nation.

“Since the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996 the industry has operated largely in a shadowy grey area,” said Wood. “With these new guidelines I am hopeful we will begin to see a medical marijuana industry that is safer, and more accountable.”

Governor Signs Wood Bill to Help Counties

(Sacramento, CA) – Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) applauded Governor Brown for signing AB 707 into law last night. The bill, authored by Wood and sponsored by the County of Humboldt, now requires the State to notify local governments if the State’s cancellation penalty fee assessment, within the Williamson Act, differs from the County’s original assessment.

Under the Williamson Act, the State provided subvention payments from the State’s General Fund to counties for the loss of local resources to lands under Williams Act contracts. However, these subvention payments to local jurisdictions were eliminated, under Governor Schwarzenegger’s administration, to help balance the State’s budget. Due to the elimination of subvention payments, some local jurisdictions passed ordinances that impose an additional local cancelation penalty fee. If a property owner wanted to cancel a contract with the Williamson Act before the ten year period, the landowner must petition the local Board of Supervisor or City Council to terminate a contract. The County of Humboldt is one local jurisdiction that has a local cancelation penalty fee.

Assemblyman Wood Pushes Emergency Airlift Bill Across the Finish Line

Today Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-North Coast) presented SB 326 on the Assembly floor.  The bill authored by Senator Jim Beall extends the funding for Medical Air Transportation through Jan. 1 2020 and mandate the state develop a reliable funding source beyond that.

Assemblyman Wood said, “Given the extreme access to healthcare issues we face across much of my district, in particular in Del Norte and Trinity Counties, these services are critical.”

Historic Cannabis Package Moves Forward

Today the Assembly and Senate have agreed to move forward on a package that would create a framework for the medical cannabis industry in California. 

Assemblyman Wood said, “This package is the end product of countless hours meeting with stakeholders and extensive negotiations with the Governor’s office.  I am thrilled that AB 243, which overcame resistance to its groundbreaking definition of cannabis as an agricultural product, and which focuses specifically on the needs of the north coast, will serve as the foundation of the cultivation language in this year’s cannabis package.”